Reddit Marketing For Small (and Large) Businesses
Reddit is still largely underutilized by businesses. What is Reddit? Why should you use the platform to market your business? We'll dive into those topics and more in this post.
Remember the "good old days" on social media? You created a Facebook business page, posted on it, and your entire network would see your content. About 6 years ago, this came to a halt as Meta Platforms (Facebook's parent company) figured out that they could essentially force businesses to pay for advertising on their platform by throttling the reach of business posts.
The justification for this was flimsy at best, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook was built to connect you with friends and family, and not receive "spam" in your news feed. So deprioritizing business posts was framed as an effort toward the "greater good", but in reality it exposed Facebook for what it was: an advertising behemoth.
The initial promise of social media was to connect us in ways we hadn't been. Using the power of the internet and the fact that we were all less geographically close than ever before, social media was going to be the way we connected with friends and family, made new friends, and shared ideas in a free and open atmosphere.
The Shortcomings of Social Media Sparked Reddit's Rise
Cut to 2023 and most everyone agrees that the vast majority of social media platforms are played out. A quick scan of search results about social media show a large number of people abandoning the traditional platforms for various reasons. Some of the most common reasons people are abandoning Facebook and Instagram include:
Lack of privacy: The flagrant abuses of privacy by Meta Platforms have been well documented. Numerous lawsuits have been settled against the company for illegally collecting biometric data. Even more so, the sale of personal information to advertisers has never sat well with the public. Platforms that respect user privacy are not as numerous, but are gaining popularity.
Ads: The prevalence of paid ads on Meta Platforms is one reason users are flocking away from the social media giant. Ironically, this was the reason Meta announced the throttling of business posts in the first place. The fact that ads are being served is not the main complaint, but the volume and frequency of the advertisement is what most users have a problem with.
Toxic behavior: Facebook's stated goal was to unite humanity. However, the algorithm used to determine the content feed has done exactly the opposite. More and more, negative interactions are had in the comment section of nearly every major outlet. This anger and hostility has led many users to seek alternatives to social media platforms.
Because these problems have become rampant, many sought out various alternatives to the offerings of Facebook and to a slightly lesser extent, Instagram. Some of those alternatives have included Snapchat and Twitter, but with Twitter's recent sale to Elon Musk, many are also abandoning it in favor of Mastodon.
Enter Reddit. Reddit has become what Facebook attempted to become, but due to the aforementioned issues, never did. Reddit has seen explosive growth, with 55.79 million daily active users (up 11.58% from 2022) and 1.66 billion monthly active users (up 38.91% from 2022). By contrast, Facebook has seen a decline of 960 million daily active users in the same time span, which is a decline of almost 35%.
What Is Reddit?
Reddit is a social media platform and online community where registered users can submit content, such as text posts, links, images, and videos, and participate in discussions on various topics called "subreddits." Reddit was founded in 2005 and is often referred to as the "front page of the internet" due to its popularity and the diverse range of topics that are discussed and shared on the platform.
Users, often called "Redditors" can create accounts on Reddit for free and subscribe to different subreddits based on their interests. Each subreddit has its own community and moderators who enforce rules and guidelines for content submission and discussion. Registered users can upvote or downvote posts and comments, which helps to determine their visibility and popularity. Reddit also allows for threaded discussions in the form of comments, which can be sorted by popularity or chronological order.
Reddit covers a wide range of topics, including news, entertainment, science, technology, gaming, sports, politics, and more. It has become a hub for discussions, sharing of information, and community engagement on a wide range of interests. Reddit has a reputation for being an open and diverse platform with a large and active user base.
This definition was once true of all social media platforms, until the changes made in the past 10 years. So how can Reddit help a business grow?
Using Reddit To Grow Your Business
Reddit is not yet at the stage where it can be the main marketing platform a business uses to acquire customers and increase their LTV. However, it is approaching that status. Currently, it is a tool that can be helpful in organic content promotion and engaging with customers. Some reasons to consider Reddit as a marketing tool include:
Redditors research topics: Most Reddit users are online sleuths. They actively investigate products and services that they are interested in, with many writing reviews of different companies within relevant subreddits. That being said, these users tend to champion products and services they are happy with.
Redditors tend to be educated: The average Reddit user has at least some college education, with well over 40% of the adult demographic having a degree.
Reddit users tend to be loyal: It is telling that the average Reddit user spends over 10 minutes on the site daily. Their web browsing behaviors tend to be mirrored on other sites they visit. This means that traffic you obtain from Reddit will be highly engaged with your content.
So how do you acquire Reddit traffic for your business?
Reddit Marketing Strategies
One of the most important things to consider about marketing on Reddit is authenticity. It does little good to simply purchase advertising on Reddit, as the platform has some of the lowest CTR% and interaction rates of any social platform. So how do you get traffic from Reddit? Follow the steps below to grow your business traffic on Reddit:
Research subreddits: First, create a list of subreddits that are relevant to your industry or niche. There are roughly 138,000 active subreddits, so no shortage exists. Think outside the box when doing your research, and put the subreddits in a spreadsheet with the member count. Also, join the subreddits you think will be most valuable for your growth. Study the discussion threads and see if the Redditors are potential customers for your business.
Participate in conversations and threads: One way to get yourself familiar with the community is by participating in conversations. Contribute to the community and be an active member. The more you do, the more trusted you become.
Don't be sales-y: Because Reddit is anonymous, you have the opportunity to post without disclosing your affiliation with a business entity. However, Redditors are smart and will be able to tell if you aren't careful. Be sure to only plug your business in where it makes sense.
Post links where appropriate: If you see a good opportunity to post a link to your website, use it. However, don't force it. Usually good blog content will be the best bet, as Redditors will value substance over sales most of the time.
As you can see, the process of using Reddit to obtain customers is much more involved than simply running ads. However, the benefits will make the time you invest worth it. Below, you can read a couple of Reddit case studies.
Death Tech Startup Gains Customers Via Reddit
One of our clients, a death tech startup based in Chicago, IL wanted to test the efficacy of Reddit. Because of the nature of the product, the ideal customer was going to be someone that does their research. After surveying the landscape of subreddits, we settled on about 5 that would have the most relevance and impact for the business.
Almost immediately, the users in the r/deathpositive subreddit were responsive to hearing about the DigitalWill.com product. Many in the group discussed the hassle surrounding the traditional will process, so it was easy to discuss this with those users in an open forum. From there, the company began to see regular organic downloads of their mobile app.
Tech Company Raises Brand Awareness on Reddit
Another client wanted to get awareness about their privacy and security protocols, so they enlisted us to find ways to participate in the conversation. We identified several subreddits where privacy in the digital world would be a hot topic and waited until it came up. Then, we took our shot.
In the course of the conversation, we were able to obtain over 400 upvotes (Reddit's version of a "like") and dropped a link to our client's website. That day, we saw over 800 users from Reddit on the website, over 30% of which converted. When was the last time your Facebook comment had over 400 likes?